Archive for the 'twitter' Category

Apple Keynote and live-blogging the event. Twitter failed the task

After finding that Twitter and most of the large blogs were unresponsive during Steve Jobs’ MacWorld keynote last night, while lying in bed down here in Australia, I found the best (and most reliable – ie: it worked) source was macrumorslive.com (the main macrumors.com site was borked though).

It worked mainly because it had a very simple page, with a simple ajax script updating *just* the posted text and photos every minute or so – ie: not the whole page.

All I had to do was watch the updates as they came in. It worked perfectly during the hour or so of the keynote. Every ten updates or so, a small sponsor message flowed through advertising a deal from MacHeist offering a bundle of 11 OSX apps for $49. I didn’t mind seeing this at all. Much better than the approach taken it TechCrunch, which required the whole blog entry page being refreshed (along with all those relatively heavy ads).

Next time there’s an Apple Keynote, I plan to build a similar page, utilising ajax to create an iPhone/iPod Touch browser optimised version of the same principle: keep it light – only update the bit of the page you need. It’s pretty easy. People can then sit and watch the page auto-update, a bit like a chat/IM page. Maybe even use some IRC technology on the back-end to send stuff to it.

In fact, Apple should provide this. It’s crazy that they don’t get an official to provide these updates.

I also expected CoverItLive.com‘s new system to shine in this area: it didn’t. It kept telling me to update my browser to the latest version. I was there with the latest version of Firefox installed. They really missed a trick here – especially given the recent coverage they have had.

Update: CoverItLive have now issued an apology. But it’s a bit late now. Good luck next time 😉 They’re taking the right approach at least.

Keep it simple.

ps: I am I the only one the gets completely irritated by the phrase “bring that beat back”? Does anyone ever use it? I’ve never heard it before Twitter used it. And it’s not just that I see it when Twitter breaks, it’s just.. I dunno.. just really *wanky* 🙂 Bring back the lolcats, I say.

Arghhhhhhh!!!!

Posting to Jaiku using PHP

As the whole world knows by now, Jaiku got bought by Google yesterday. So, in celebration of that and all the cunning mashups and applications we’ll no doubt see on Jaiku, I present a simple script to post to Jaiku using PHP, cUrl and XML-RPC:

http://kosso.co.uk/jaiku/jaiku.phps

Also, here is a list of the Jaiku icons you can use in your Jaiku updates.

This is to complement a PHP script I gave you all a while ago to post messages to Twitter:

http://kosso.co.uk/twitter/twitterCurl.phps

I intend to add Jaiku and Twitter posting to Mobods, my mobile multimedia publishing and distribution system soon! 🙂

How I created a TwitterGroup for Gnomedex

twitbot.gifI see Dave has posted a few ideas that he’d like to be able to do with Twitter. His ‘use case #1’ is regarding the ability to subscribe to a kind of ‘reading list’ of people at a conference. Good idea! TwitterGroups are what we need! 🙂

So, while I was at Gnomedex, I wanted a way to track tweets (that’s Twitter posts, for the uninitiated ;p ) from others at the conference who were also on Twitter. A show of hands from the audience showed there were a LOT of us 😉 Naturally, I don’t want to have to follow every user and see everypost/tweet from them – I just want the ones relevant to the conference.

Having got the idea of how to do it in my head in the first morning session, I hacked it together quite quickly during the lunchbreak. It’s based very much like my Urban Dictionary ‘TwitterBot’ which will go and search for the (urban) meaning of a word, at the command of any follower.

So, here’s how I did it:
1. First, I set up an account, called @gnomenet

2. Then I set up a simple database table in MySql with a ‘status_id’ column and a ‘screen_name’ column.

3. I then invited people to ‘follow’ that account and instructed the followers to start a post with  ‘gd’ if they wanted their tweet to appear in the ‘group’ timeline – if they had something to say about the conference.

4. Then, I had a PHP script set on an automated cronjob to poll the followers.xml for the gnomenet account.  The followers.xml file always has the latest tweet from each follower, also providing the status(tweet) id and the follower’s screen name. It polled the followers.xml file once a minute, which is under Twitter’s API limit of 70 per hour.

5. When the script sees ‘gd’ at the start of a follower’s tweet, it then adds the screen_name and status_id to the database table. Then it sends that Tweet to the @gnomenet account after removing ‘gd ‘ from the start. This is easily done using Twitter’s very simple API.

6. The next time the script polls the followers.xml file, if it sees the same user posting the same thing (it compares each status_id with existing records in the database) it says to itself “this user already said that!” and ignores it.

7. If the follower does not have gd at the start of the Tweet, then the script goes and deletes from the database table any post from that user/screen_name  – ie: mostly, there is nothing to delete, as people don’t post to it all the time.

Doing this keeps the database table clean and compact. It worked pretty well for 52 followers! I wonder how many them were not even there at the conference! 🙂

This has a load of potential uses for TwitterBot automation and TwitterGroup creation, though I’m sure there might be a more graceful way of doing this. Happy to hear more ideas

Gnomedex was GREAT fun again – this was my third. But I have to say, I’m looking forward to the possibility of ‘GnomeStock‘ ;p

Social Fleshworking

Yesterday, Dave Winer says that ‘It’s time to open open Social Networking again‘ – I agree. (Though I will add that I wasn’t aware anything had ‘closed’ 😉

At about the same time he posted that, while sat here in a hotel in Cambridge MA, I get a tweet from a buddy who says there’s an impromptu Boston Twitter meetup going to happen in town tonight.

So, my mind starts ticking for a second, and bang!! I buy tweetup.com – hehe
I can already see a global network of communities building around it, ON TOP of the Twitter ‘platform’ – think multi-lingual global cityname subdomains. Aggregate feeds of each, connected by the participants of the communities. boston.tweetup.com, london.tweetup.com, melbourne.tweetup.com etc, etc.

I *know* you get the picture. )

All this will need a calendar system of course. ;) Or we’ll all be late / early! ha!

I’ve met so many people in ‘real life’ (IRL) via Twitter actually.

Let’s turn colliding, fleeting, passing electrons into flesh-pressing real relationships.

This is BIG!!

And, my friends – the planet is SMALL! A LOT smaller than you think.

OS Twitter and Services

twitbot.gifIn light of Dave Winer’s recent post about Twitter since the announcement on TechCrunch that some new API features are on the way, I thought I’d point back to a couple of earlier posts I made about these very subjects. Ie: Using Twitter as a ‘service layer’ and Open Sourcing the Twitter server (without SMS) – that post also talks about the’@dictionary word‘ TwitterBot which I created after having the idea as a proof of concept.

I think it’s great and all that people like Nik, Steve and Dave are looking at this too. Let them pick up the ball and run with it. (Ermm. Did I drop it? Ah I see, there’s more than one! Heh)

The new Twitter stuff will enable developers to write ‘GroupWare’ too by delivering messages privately. I hope that Obvious add ‘groups’ soon though. Also the ability to distinguish/register an account as a ‘bot’ as opposed to a human.

BTW : Bots should not have ‘friends’ – only followers. That’s how a ‘client/user’ can register with the bot/service more easily. Simply add the user account.

I also use Twitter for server alerts too, letting me know when somthing has completed or gone wrong – this will help ‘privatize’ them without needing an ‘alt’ account.

I started out by asking my followers where I could find a decent search engine that can respond to a ‘human question’ – after not finding a good enough one with a decent API, I plumped for the Urban Dictionary, which can provide very amusing results ;)

One of the unique things about Twitter is the difference in push/pull with info than we are used to. Usually we ‘push’ a post, then ‘pull’ the website or feeds. Here, we have also have Twitter not only ‘pushing’ email, but also SMS – for ‘free’.

That’s so incredibly useful. ESPECIALLY given all the places in the world where mobile phones work, but the internet does not. Third World etc. This should be exciting to people working in remote situations.

Open Sourcing the Twitter server without the SMS capabilities would make the central Twitter.com/Obvious server like the ‘Sun’ where all the other OS Twitter servers would connect like ‘Planets’ – Obvious could then handle and monetize all the SMS transactions (which the OS server might lack) by charging for this feature.

Tweet! Tweet! Kerrchingg!! 🙂

Oh and I’ve been building a new forum-like content/communications system with RSS and OPML at the heart of it. Imagine ‘structured Tweets’ – with the ability to also attach files – as a payload – can you imagine how easy it is to flow, connect and direct all these via RSS and OPML? Wow!

Designing Conversations : slideshow

Here’s a neat little slideshow which Steve Garfield pointed me to after finding it in the Boston Globe. Designer David Armano says “it’s all about experiences that are enhanced by conversations and community, making consumers active participants in the process” which is a great idea.

References within the slideshow include YouTube, Twitter, Dell and BlogHUD! 🙂 Cool!

desconv.jpg

Click here to view this slideshow at SlideShare – which is a great little tool for sharing presentations. I hope they soon sort out a simple embed code for WordPress.com users.

Apparently, David Armano is giving a virtual seminar over here on Thursday. (Not free)

UK Budget 2007 in Second Life : March 21st 2007 : 4.30am SLT


Gordon Brown will make what is likely to be his last Budget Speech, tomorrow in the House of Commons.

Coming from a Twitter account being updated by The Press Association in London which can found at http://twitter.com/budget updates from the House of Commons will be streamed into the virtual world of Second Life at this location.

Search for ‘The RSS Platform’ in world and look for a huge briefcases! Or follow the blogHUD link to a page giving a map at teleportation link.

The announcements will start at around 12.30 PM GMT, which is March 21st 2007 : 4.30am SLT. It might also be good idea to ‘add budget’ to your Twitter account, if you have one. It will only be pumping content for the two hours (or so) of the Budget itself. You could even get it to SMS you automatically using Twitter’s free texting ability.

posted by Koz Farina on Nooribeom using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]


Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at podcast.com for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.



@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

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